Putin benefits from global chaos – Politico
Russia seems to be taking advantage of and even fueling chaos in various global hotspots, diverting Western attention from Ukraine. While Putin didn't necessarily start all of these crises, he's using them to his advantage
Politico writes about it.
“Hamas’ brutal assault against Israel came on Vladimir Putin’s birthday,” the article reads.
For Putin, who aims to shift Western focus away from Ukraine, this Middle East turmoil serves as a welcome distraction.
The key question is how much credit we should give to the Kremlin for the simultaneous eruption of crises in Israel, Kosovo, the Caucasus, and Africa, which are overwhelming America and Europe.
The article argues that many view Putin as a mastermind behind these conflicts, but the reality is that he didn't initiate them. However, he's gladly pouring fuel on the fire and exploiting them. Russian propagandists are already claiming that a Middle East war benefits Russia and could decrease financial support for Ukraine.
"This was probably the best birthday gift for Putin. The attack against Israel will divide attention, given the natural U.S. focus on Israel," commented an EU diplomat.
In Washington, the Hamas-Israel war is expected to divert attention from Ukraine, where political turmoil is already affecting U.S. support. Ukraine's President Zelenskyy is highlighting the connections between Hamas' supporter Iran and Russia, framing the fight against Russia and Islamist militants as intertwined struggles.
How directly is Russia involved in these events?
Regarding the Hamas attacks, Russia has courted the group for some time, and its political support may have emboldened Hamas to resort to violence, according to the article.
However, Russia is not as significant as Iran when it comes to Hamas' arms and financing. Experts believe Russia's role beyond political support is likely modest.
In the Caucasus, Putin is accused of stoking the crisis that displaced thousands of Armenians.
“Russia is trying to suggest it deliberately pulled the plug on support for the Karabakh Armenians, piling pressure on the U.S. and the EU help with the refugee exodus.”
Russia may have indeed played a role in Azerbaijan's military action, as it's unlikely Azerbaijan acted without Moscow's approval. European Council President Charles Michel blames Russia for betraying Armenian interests.
The Balkans recently witnessed conflict between Serbs and police, with suspicions of Russian involvement due to close ties between Serbian ultranationalists and Moscow.
“Kosovars and Albanians have long argued that Russia is the primary force in trying to trigger a new war in the Balkans,” the article states.
Whether Putin gets directly involved or not, a Balkan flare-up would serve Russia's interests, further distracting a Western world already struggling to maintain unity.
While Putin may not directly initiate these crises, he appears to exploit them to divert Western attention from Ukraine, enhancing Russia's global position in the process. These events reflect a return to traditional great power rivalry, as noted by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 2018.